Monsoon season is here, meaning the rainy time period for the Southwest as showers and thunderstorms become more prevalent across the region. On Monday afternoon, numerous thunderstorms erupted, some of which became severe and created hoboobs. These hoboobs are basically dust storms but the difference is that they are formed by thunderstorms.

Haboob seen from I-8 near Gila Bend, AZ. Credit: John Sirlin

It’s been a very dry first half of the year with a widespread drought in place. Some parts of Arizona haven’t received any rainfall in weeks. Mix that with a heavy thunderstorm and you got yourself a dust storm, or haboob, as the strong winds and rain-cooled air pick up the sand and dirt from the ground.

These dust storms brought issues to the roadways, reducing visibility and causing several vehicular accidents, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation, just in time for rush hour.

Not only was heavy rain a problem, especially near Phoenix, which triggered minor flash flooding, but high winds made for a more widespread issue. At the peak of the storm action, over 125,000 customers lost power statewide, most of which were in the Phoenix area as a result of the haboob that moved through. Downed trees and limbs for the main reason for the downed power lines.

Cities like Phoenix and Tucson recorded record daily rainfall Monday, measuring 0.48 inches and 1.01 inches, respectively.

Featured image credit: Mike Olbinski


Jackson is Head of Content at WeatherOptics and produces several forecasts and manages all social media platforms. Previously, Jackson forecasted local weather for southwestern Connecticut, founding his website, Jackson's Weather, in the March of 2015. He is currently studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Miami.

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